By Lisa Arrigo, Editor-in-Chief
The International Pump Users Symposium, billed as the only meeting organized by pump users for pump users, had a record number of participants at this year’s event in Houston. The event’s sponsor, the Turbomachinery Laboratory at Texas A&M University, estimates that 2,000 attendees came to the George R. Brown Convention Center to learn about new technology and seek expert advice during the technical sessions and in the symposium’s exhibit hall.
Show management is quick to point out that exhibiting companies normally send their “first-team” players to the symposium; as a result, attendees expect to find tangible solutions to real-world problems. An informal survey of exhibitors taken during the event indicates that those showing products and services to the crowd were pleased with the foot traffic in their booths.
There were about 150 companies in the exhibit hall, demonstrating products and engaging in discussions with attendees looking for answers to fluid handling headaches. Companies such as Engineered Software, Junty Industries, Nikkiso Pumps America, and PeopleFlo Manufacturing launched products at the show. Engineered Software, a provider of software to design and simulate the operation of fluid piping systems, released its Pipe-Flo Professional 2007 program. Junty Industries announced news about its sealing products for the fluid and gas control industry. Nikkiso Pumps America, a supplier of canned motor pumps, announced that it now offers three levels of API-685 compliance. And PeopleFlo Manufacturing introduced EnviroGear, a new sealless gear pump.
The symposium’s advisory committee, who are recognized leaders in the pump community, kept the technical sessions focused on the top issues in the industry: the maintenance, performance, troubleshooting, operation, and purchase of pumps. The sessions were made up of in-depth short courses, lectures on cutting-edge technologies, hands-on tutorials, practical case studies, and topical discussion groups. For example, there were sessions examining the fundamentals of mechanical seals, the relationship of vibration to problems in centrifugal pumps, cavitation in high energy pumps, and the establishment of an electric motor lubrication program. There was also an opening address by Dr. Stuart L. Scott, associate professor of the Harold Vance Department of Petroleum Engineering at Texas A&M University.